Vulnerability information

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The vulnerability information provided here based on a basic traffic light-like ranking with three categories: 'high vulnerability' (+++), 'moderate vulnerability' (++) and 'low vulnerability' (+) is qualitative, not normalized and unweighted. For that reason no final assessment of vulnerability is done. Additionally, vulnerability characterizations colored in grey are not in the scope of this study but relevant for the specific problem. For details on the vulnerability assessment concept, methodology and classification systems please refer to the complete report attached at the bottom of the page, as well as to the deliverable D11.2 of EUPORIAS ("White paper on sector specific vulnerabilities"), which can be found at here.

Vulnerability characterization

Referring to the analysis of the critical situation, decision-making processes and critical climate conditions, one primary vulnerability can be identified (see the attachment below).

Vulnerability to decreased discharge (S2D scale). The critical situation is characterized by a sub-optimal utilization of the catchment’s dam reservoirs capacity. The interlinked decision-making process refers to planning of infill rates (filling curve) considering thresholds of min and max fill levels. Critical climate conditions are prolonged precipitation and temperature anomalies.

  • Scale of critical climate conditions: around 9-12 months

  • Temporal scope for climate information: 9 months

Vulnerability assessment for S2D-vulnerability

Climate-impact type (+): the ‘climate impact type’ can be classified as primarily ‘systemic climate impact’: this is due to the buffer effect of the catchment which controls the propagation of a meteorological drought to a hydrological or stream flow drought. Thus, a specific period of ‘below average rainfall’ is required to affect the streamflow which is the attribute of concern. The man-made reservoirs are an additional buffers system which stores water flows occurring during a specific period of time. Both buffer systems do have the effect to smooth rainfall variability and aggregate rainfall magnitudes over a period of time (at least for drought conditions). Consequently, information on mean precipitation is suitable for this kind of problem since the timing of precipitation events is of minor importance.

However, with respect to high flows, floods may constitute individual problems especially at the end of the rainy season when the reservoir’s capacity is about to be exhausted. In this context the timing of individual floods becomes relevant and the character of this climate impact is rather ‘statistical’ and information on the temporal distribution of precipitation is desired.

Role of climate (+++): the role of climate is that of a resource since water availability of a region is dependent on rainfall conditions. This implies a potentially significant impact on decision-making since climate parameters constitute the economic basis.

Priority of scale (+++): decision-making processes on seasonal scale are of primary importance. No short-term decision-making and no long-term robust decision-options are available.

Success criteria (++): the success criteria are societal relevance going beyond that of economic interests.

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By providing river-flow forecasts at key period to anticipate the evolution of water-stocks, RIFF aims to help stake-holders for a best  management of water resource reducing drought and flood risks.